Ask A Recruiter: Temp-to-Hire

Q: What does the term “temp-to-hire” mean?

A: There are several ways you can be employed when working with a staffing firm: as a temporary employee, a temp-to-hire worker or as a direct-hire.

A temporary employee is someone who is employed by the staffing firm, but goes to work for a client of the firm. The client company manages the employee while the staffing firm pays the employee. A temporary job can last anywhere from several hours or one day to many months. Temporary employees are sometimes called ‘contractual,’ ‘seasonal,’ ‘interim,’ or ‘freelance.’

Direct-hire means that the firm’s client hires the employee directly. The staffing firm is used to recruit and screen candidates for the role, but once the employee is hired, they no longer have an affiliation with the staffing firm and go directly on the client firm’s payroll.

Temp-to-hire is a middle ground term and it means that the employee begins as a temporary worker, but if the job goes well he/she may be offered a permanent position. Sometimes this is also called ‘temp-to-perm’ or ‘right-to-hire.’

Sometimes an open position is designated as a temp-to-hire position right away, because the employer knows they want to fill the position with a permanent employee, but wants to use evaluate temporary workers in the role to find the best candidate. Other times the position is advertised as a temporary position, but the employee does a great job and the employer decides they want to make that worker a permanent staff member.

Many of the candidates we meet with would prefer to find a permanent position. However, temp-to-hire opportunities can be just as beneficial to the candidate as they are to the employer. There’s only so much information that each party can learn about the other in one or two interviews. It’s only when you’re immersed in the job on a day-to-day basis and interacting with co-workers and customers, that you can truly understand whether the situation is a good fit.

About the Recruiter

K-CoppinsKristen Coppins has 10+ years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry.  As a Director and member of the management team at Professional Staffing Group (PSG), she oversees the new hire training and development program. Kristen is also a member of ASA’s Continued Education Committee.

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